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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  January 27, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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tunnel crowd. it is monday, january 27th, and this is "now," live from washington, d.c. >> the scandal surrounding chris christie. >> lawmakers will take a new step. >> merge those separate investigations into one joint committee. >> the big unanswered question. >> that's what the citizens of new jersey deserve. >> why would anyone think of creating a traffic jam? hundreds of thousands of innocent people. >> i want the truth. you can't handle the truth. >> not a lot of answers at this point. >> we still do not have the answer. super committee formation, scrambling party members, the revival of a tunnel fiasco, and
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the return for very familiar accusations of political retribution. chris christie, this is your life. a life from the outside at least looks pretty complicated and pretty hard to keep up. this afternoon democrats in the new jersey states assembly and senate voted to pool their investigative resources to form a super committee to investigate the infamous traffic problems in ft. lee. separate from that investigation, this morning the editorial board at the star newspaper reported on another alleged christie cover-up from 2010. ben says he was fired because he refused to drop a case against county sheriff and christie ally deborah trout. he will continue his plea at a hearing tomorrow for the attorney general's office to
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release grand jury transcripts to prove his case. and that's not even the end of it. over the weekend, we released an in-depth report detailing christie's other traffic jam. that is christie's decision in 2010 to kill a new rail tunnel project that would have run from new jersey to new york city. something that could have created tens of thousands of jobs and brought billions of federal dollars to the the federal coffers. later today, the governor will be attending a super bowl sbrie celebration in his home state. given the allegations, christie may be doing less partying down and more stressing out. joining me now is a political reporter at "the new york times"
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and michael isacoff. it sounds like the scope of this committee is going to be fairly broad. i want to talk to you about the people involved. kevin o'toole was added to the committee. he is a christie ally or at least someone who was very much on the governor's side when state democrats started investigating the traffic problems in ft. lee. what do you think about his addition to the super committee? >> that did raise some eyebrows in the democrats. senator o'toole is known as an ally of the governor. when the transportation committee had begun its investigation of those traffic jams back in november, senator o'toole put out a press release denouncing the committee calling
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it a waste of taxpayer dollars. senator o'toole also showing up briefly in those e-mail disclosures that came out a couple of weeks ago in which david wildstein ordered the closure of the traffic jams. that raised some questions. but look, there was some interesting political banter today. the resolution creating this new super committee for the super bowl state passed unanimously. all the republicans voted for it. but once the committee met and they had their session, the republicans were clearly laying the groundwork to make the argument that this has become a partisan democratic witch hunt. raising all sorts of questions
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about the breakdown, the partisan breakdown, the control of the documents, which will be held by the two co-chairs. while they are publicly saying they are for the investigation, they're reserving their right to come back and say, this has been hijacked by democrats for political purposes. >> to this, every day there is another chapter. you know, sometimes itgame "gam" i do think a 43 count grand jury indictment that got shutdown, and this was in november -- ben has been talking about this with
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varying sizes of audience for the last several months. do you think ben has more of a case that the attorney general could take up his allegations that he was shut down for political reasons? >> well, the thing here is it is very similar in some ways. what you see is an appointee of the governor. there's an allegation of political interference. what's going to happen this month is a court is going to hear an appeal from the foreign prosecutor to release the grand jury transcripts that he believes show that he did not act improperly in the case, that he was wrongfully dismissed. that in turn brings up the question, if the proceedings in the investigation were proper, why was he dismissed? >> we talked about last week the scope of this super committee. you made the important point this is just a committee that is
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investigating cover-ups and abuse. there is no -- the parameters of what they can look at and who they can speak to seem fairly broad. i guess i wonder whether you think dawn zimmer and her allegations surrounding hurricane sandy relief being withheld for political purposes, whether those will work their way into this political super committee investigation? we can't predict what other information will come before the committee. this is fairly open ended. >> the scope of the resolution creating the super committee is quite broad. it talks about the traffic lane closures and any other concerns about abuse of government power or an attempt to conceal an abuse of government power. that's one reason republicans are said, wait a second, that
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could be anything. this committee could go off in all sorts of directions. so actually i think wisniewski and wineburg are sensitive to that. they're saying, look, we're focused for now on those lane closures. we're going to stick to that. if something else comes up in the course of what we get, we may. right now i do not sense an eagerness to go after the hoboken matter or anything else. but the important point here is, alex, the clock is ticking. those subpoenas had a february 3rd return date. that's next week. we may see extensions, but there also may be a ton of documents coming in next week. the documents are really going to tell the story. there's no expectation we're going to get live testimony.
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they're all facing a u.s. attorney investigation. they're lawyers are going to tell them to take the fifth. what we may get next week may tell the story. it may be for the time being all we see. we should know fairly soon. >> there are many stories to be told. in terms of chris christie's current political capital, you're done a lot of reporting on this and understand the garden state. christie is being questioned by "the star ledger," saying he should quit the governor's association. what's the likelihood do you think that we see christie curbing any of his activities in the coming weeks given the fact
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the subpoenas are coming down in a matter of days? >> i think it is pretty unlikely. if something comes up that begins to pull the governor himself more tightly into this, he has to batten down the hatches. what you're seeing is an effort by the opponents to get him off the fund raising circuit. we're talking about this scandal, but he is a good fundraiser for the rga. people want to pay to go see him. i think he'll keep fund raising for the rga. it's only if he gets in real trouble with himself will you see him kind of pull back on the fund raising for the rga. >> all right. thank you both for your time and thoughts. coming up, fresh off her very unique new york times
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magazine cover, hillary clinton weighs in our 2016 prospects and not weighing in on her 2016 prospects. first, ahead of his rand paul state of the union stance tomorrow, he declared an end to the war on women. we'll give the senator a little bit of a reality check. . live l. eat the 100% goodness of post shredded wheat. . live l. doctors recommend it. is your tv powered by coal? natural gas? nuclear? or renewables like solar... and wind? let's find out. this is where america's electricity comes from. a diversity of energy sources helps ensure the electricity we need is reliable.
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to most women in america, the republican party's slew of outlandish comments and his excessive focus on the female anatomy has been creepy.
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you might think after losing the female vote by 20 points in 2012, the largest gender gap in recorded history, you might think the gop might check itself out of the obgyn office. last week, there was mike huckabee and the orwellian pill pusher uncle sugar, coming into to take control of ladies libidos. rand paul announced the war on women is over because the women in his family are doing great. >> this whole sort of war on women thing, i'm scratching my head. if there was a war on women, i think they've won. the women in my family are doing great. that's what i've seen in all the statistics coming out. i think some of the victimology is trumped up.
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we don't get to some kind of good policy saying one party is not in favor of women advancing. >> rand paul knows some successful women. problem solved. this compelling evidence aside, dr. paul ignores a whole slew of facts about women in america. statistics that point to something other than victimology. women earn less than men, no matter what their education, their industry, or their job. the average woman is paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. 42 million of women live at or at poverty. then, there is the escalating and unprecedented number of anti-abortion and so-called women's health bills courtesy of the gop and designed to restrict reproductive freedoms.
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when one is speaking about after the population in the united states, singular evidence is not the best. also i had lunch today. hunger is a problem for millions of americans. rand paul is planning to steer clear of one thing. >> i try never to have discussions of anatomy unless i'm at a medical conference. >> paul perhaps wisely is not the only member of his party trying to avoid uncle sugar. scott walker, a man who has signed into the law some of the nation's most extreme abortion restrictions, is begging his party to cool it. >> our focus should be on the things we're elected to do. we shouldn't take the bait and get off on other subjects. >> the big problem here is when it comes to debate, which is to
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say obsessing over the female anatomy, it's the republican party that's been setting the traps. and the only thing getting caught in them in is the gop. coming up, president obama is expected to go big on income inequality in his state of the union tomorrow. after seeing a study that found the wealthiest 85 people in the world as the 3.5 billion poorest, mr. o leery said this. this is f this is fantastic. i'm going to fight hard to get up to the top. this is fantastic news and of course i applaud it. >> we'll discuss the fantastic news. that's next. so i deserve a small business credit card
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in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. make the most of every moment. ask your dermatologist about humira, today. clearer skin is possible.
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tomorrow night, it's time to restore opportunity for all. >> that was president obama vining a preview of his fifth annual state of the union address tomorrow night. not on camera in that video, the pen and the telephone that will be the president's secret and possibility only weapons to get someone in elected office to do something, anything. specifically, the president is trying to get anything done to shrink the historic gap between the rich and the rest of the country. the president is set to focus on income inequality. dan fifer offered a little more detail. three words sum up the president's message on tuesday night. opportunity, action, and optimism. your ability to get ahead should be based on your hard work and who you want to be, not just the
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raw circumstance of who you are and where you're born. the minimum wage remains where it has been since 2007. and the fate of the unemployment insurance is languishing on capitol hill. the president is expected to announce some of the largest employers including at&t and proctor and gamble have signed a pledge to not discriminate against the long-term unemployed in job decisions. discrimination against the long-term unemployed is kind of a cultural problem in and of itself. precisely because it is a cultural problem, it is something a speech has a hope of changing.
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the president will spend wednesday and thursday traveling to maryland, pittsburgh, and milwaukee. doug, i'd like to start with you first in terms of where we place this state of the union amid other state of the unions. when you look at it historically, president obama pales in comparison in use of executive order and presidential authority, does he not? >> absolutely. it's one of optimism and action and all of this.
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just do it. be like theodore roosevelt and fdr. don't talk about, i have the power of the pen. use the power of the pen. you could save bristol bay, our great salmon runs up in alaska by not letting the pebble mine come in. theodore roosevelt saved the grand canyon. you can't tell people you're going to use executive power and not use it. you'll be called out on it. he fought for gun control. he got the public into it. couldn't do it in congress. i would look at places where he could sign a lot of presidential proclamations and let the chips fall where they may. >> in speaking about who used
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executive authority, cleveland was the last president to use as many executive orders as obama. these used to be bipartisan issues and every single one of them got shut down in large part by the republican party. so to -- to a large degree, if not entirely, the reason that we have come to this place is because there's nobody to work with in congress on issues that didn't used to be divisive. >> these are bipartisan issues. there is bipartisanship. look at increase in minimum wage. 48% of republicans want to see a
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substantial increase in the minimum wage. really part of the issue here is whether leadership is responsive to its own constituents. >> doug, in terms of the president and his evolution if you look at it through states of the union, sam stein had an interesting piece in the issue of income einequality and the fairness doctrine. in some ways, this seems like a return to his roots in a sort of full-throated endorsement of democrat -- >> i think president obama has been most exciting when he goes
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the ted kennedy route. when ted kennedy, he lost his great ally. they want to tell you if you make one big bold move, you're going to lose too much this and that. this president doesn't have to run another election in his life. he's going to go up in the polls in the state of the union. he really does need to make this year the one of executive power once he says he's going to. the minimum wage is an issue. everybody working an honest job deserves, you know $10.10 and make that the issue. hammer away on one like that the way ted kennedy would. if it doesn't happen, at least you're known in the history books for something you believed in, and that's helping the middle class and lower classes of america. >> in terms of that piece and
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the minimum wage and hammering home this narrative, it's already working. the republican party is more aware of inequality and feels more compelled to talk about poverty than i can remember in the last few decades. paul ryan has talked about his plan for poverty. once you get past the rhetoric, it's the same stuff they've been proposing for the last 20 or 30 years. >> the president needs to make clear to the american people why the policy prescriptions he's going to push matter. that's what it's about -- impact. >> in terms of raising the minimum wage, has there been sort of the use of the bully poll and then followed by action or has congress been a mott tor that? >> it hel-- we're dealing with
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president who has to defend the senate. if he loses that, they're going to be throwing subpoenas at the white house and it's going to be a nightmare for him the next two years. he has to get out of a woe is me phase and get back to a fighter or boxer. the state of the union is the launch of 2014 for him. >> he'll be traveling to ma maryland, pittsburgh, milwaukee, and nashville. another day, another senseless shooting. we'll get the latest on this weekend's deadly mall incident and discover the prospects for gun safety reform. next on "now."
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if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource, our children -- it has been two months since newtown. i know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence, but this time is different. >> despite the president's best efforts, last year gun safety reform went nowhere in congress. when asked if guns would be a topic in the state of the union, the white house did not go into specifics. this has 2014 has gotten off to a deadly start. with an average of one school shooting every other day. over the weekend, more tragedy. a 19-year-old killed two people before turning his gun on
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himself at a mall in columbia, maryland. it has some worried about america becoming desensitized to violence. >> one out of three americans know someone who has been shot. >> we had drills to prepare for nuclear bombs in the 1950s. will we have drills to prepare for school shootings? some argue that we should. he writes, crisis management plans in the workplace and schools, it is time to accept the fact that gun violence will occur. joining me now is mark blaze.
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i want to say it is good to have you on the show, but this has become a cycle that -- we seem unable to extract ourselves from. i wonder what you think of professor cole's advice, that we need better emergency preparedness in the classroom. on one hand, i think that seems reasonable. but on the other side, i think that will further desensitize us to violence. >> i think we need better emergency preparedness. if you ask parents if they want to give their kids a 1% better chance of survival, they probably would be, but it's not an answer to the problem. the difference you're feeling is not that much of a difference over what this country has been experiencing over the past 20 or 30 years. the difference actually is not complacency. the difference is there are a lot of people talking about it. it's been happening for a long
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time. 33 americans are murdered in this country every day. that doesn't include the americans that are killed with guns through suicides and accidental deaths. this is an important change. they're trying to get legislators to pay attention and make a change. >> some state legislators seem to be making changes. what do we make of the fact this this time last year we thought we were on the cusp of reform in congress. the president was speaking about it at the state of the union. there was a bipartisan bill. a year later, we don't know if the president will mention gun violence at all. right now, there are no plans to reintroduce the background check bill that the senator continues to talk about to his constituents. we have no legislation in the halls of congress. what do you attribute that to?
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>> the reason senator reid voted no after a majority voted for it, so he could bring it back up at an inappropriate time. when we have the votes next year, we'll have another vote and it won't be a watered down bill. we take the majority leader, who has been a great ally on this issue and the president, and hold them at their word. they can't pass a farm bill or a budget bill. so i would not be surprised that the most powerful lobby that there is that is backed by billions of dollars a year industry that believes they're fighting for tyranny can be beat in six months. you can protect the second amendment and still keep people
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from getting guns in the wrong hands. colorado is a wonderful example of that. >> we talk a lot about the nra. do you think that we are developing an appropriate response in terms of progressives -- people who want to see sensible gun safety measures, do you think that group is coming together in a way that can answer the power of the nra? >> yes. colorado, very gun friendly safe and they passed two of the strongest gun legislation laws in the u.s. more than 100 people who are too dangerous to own guns under law have been stopped and it only takes one. >> mark, i knew you would help
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me end this segment on an uplifting note. thanks for your time. coming up, after tumbling to its worst week in nearly a year, the dow sounded an anxious lat. ♪ ♪ oh, are we early? [ male announcer ] commute your way with the bold, all-new nissan rogue. ♪ ♪ whoa, who-o-o-a ♪ one, two, three, four! ♪ ohh, oh-oh-oh-oh ♪ ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohhh ♪ go, let's go ♪ hit me like a supernova
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trey radel is no longer in congress. earlier today, the self-proclaimed hip hop conservative sent in his resignation after buying cocaine from an undercover officer. his return to elected office wasn't exactly accompanied by a ticker tape parade. the gop chair and governor rick scott called for trey radel's
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resignation once the cocaine revelations surfaced in november. trey radel was not exactly the guy who stoked the embers of goodwill. he was of course the same trey radel to order drug tests for those on food stamps. trey radel, kanye west fan, blow enthusiast. there was never enough street -- hillary clinton is taking on bin laden, benghazi, and cars today. what about 2016? will the planets align for her
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[ male announcer ] you're welcome. so when my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis them. was also on display, i'd had it. i finally had a serious talk with my dermatologist.
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this time, he prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps to clear the surface of my skin by actually working inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. make the most of every moment. ask your dermatologist about humira, today.
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clearer skin is possible. i'm not thinking about it. i've tried to get other people not to think about it. >> following a speech this morning in new orleans, hillary clinton kind of sort of answered the question on everyone's mind by down playing speculation about her future. there's been an endless stream of analysis. there are key players in the vast clinton orbit. barack obama will leave the white house with the same handful of friends he came in. the clintons have operated like
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a tumble weed. one former aide told me working for the clintons is like staying at the hotel california. you can check out, but you can never leave. i was thinking to myself, this could be heaven or this could be hell. the highs and lows of clinton world was on display this morning as secretary clinton was asked to name her biggest regret while at the state department. with no hesitation, he brought up benghazi. >> my biggest regret is what happened in benghazi. it was a terrible tragedy losing four americans. it was a great loss. it was a great loss to our foreign service and our country. obviously, it was a great personal loss to me since i sent
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chris stevens to libya the first time. >> it took a few hours for her distractors to come out of the woodwork and question her. >> she regrets that four brave americans lost their lives. but at the same time, she doesn't want to do anything to fix it. if she really was sorry, she would stand up and join me with 24 other senators calling for a joint select committee. she needs to stand up and demand action. >> joining me now is howard fineman and amy chosik. howard, let me ask you this. ted cruz just said talk is cheap, which makes ted cruz a very poor man.
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no good deed goes unpunished. there's been exhaustive reporting on this. there's been investigative committees that have been looking into this. once you say the "b" word, it sets the alarm bells ringing on the far right. is she going to have to say t-- deal with this over and over again in 2016? >> yes. every investigative group that has looked at it has said there are problems with the way the people in libya were cared for, the risked they didn't take, the money that was spent. i don't think anybody is going to find any action that hillary took where she failed in some personal way that is going to
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attach it personally to her. i think the feeling among clinton people would be if the ted cruz's of the world want to excite the tea party base by talking about benghazi, fine. if that's the worst they've got to say about hillary clinton, so be it. it is going to be hillary's job to make sure she has other things to say as she moves forward. >> i thought that piece was really interesting. the very detailed analysis you give about the different factions in hillary land and 2016, there is a tendency for all of this to say when. but there's still the question of "if." it is a double edged sword. because the narrative hurt her
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in 2007. is she running, and how much discipline can team hillary have until now and announces she's going to be the nominee? >> i think it gives her the luxury of playing coy right now. she doesn't have to declare because the machinery is already in the works outside of her control. you have correct the record doing opposition research. her vast network is helping her take the time. she could still say her mind. she doesn't have to say anything for a while because the infrastructure is already there thanks to the deep supporters the clintons have collected over the years. >> a huge part of that infrastructure is bill clinton. rand paul didn't mince words bringing up the lewinsky affair.
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wh what is your sense of bill letting his wife do what she must and doesn't have the clinton baggage hanging with her? >> amy's piece is terrific. i recommend everyone look at the star chart she has of all the c constellations. bill clinton is not in a fixed orbit. he goes where he wants to go. i think that bill and hillary, should she run, and i think she will, will work it out between
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the two of them. amy's got a great anecdote in there. clinton recalls 1972 and said, hillary clinton is the greatest political servant ever. i think bill will hang back. >> amy, before we let you go, you remind everybody that bill clinton used to make 35,000 a year in a job at mcdonald's. they have private jets. how much concern is there about that in clinton world? >> now they're talking about it from a very different place. they're talking about it from the hamptons and manhattan and
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the 1% circle. >> we shall see. it is an ongoing story. thank you both for your time. that is all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. eastern live from capitol hill. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show," live from new york. let's get to work. >> tomorrow night, it's time to restore opportunity for all. >> president obama wants to give an honest, candid state of the union address that his economic policies are not working and that their exacerbating income inequali inequality. >> i think 2014 needs to be a year of action. >> to work with congress where he can. >> hell no, you can't. >> he's going to look in every way he can with his pen and his

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